"Insights into the molecular networks underpinning crop yield"

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Thursday 25 October 2018, 11:00 - 12:30

 
ABSTRACT

One of the greatest scientific challenges in the coming decades is to enhance crop productivity. In our lab, we aim at identifying regulatory networks that ultimately can be selected by advanced breeding programs. One of our research lines regards the study of the rice responses to adverse environmental conditions, such as high salinity, low temperature, and drought. We have identified and functionally characterized a number of rice transcription factors and other regulators involved in abiotic stress responses and plant development. Lately, we have been particularly interested in deciphering the role of the rice Phytochrome Interacting Factors (PIFs) mediating the rice responses to different environmental cues. Our second line of research aims at identifying photosynthesis regulators that ultimately can be used to boost photosynthesis and crop yield. It is well known that C4 photosynthesis is much more efficient than C3 photosynthesis and many efforts have been developed to implement the C4 metabolism in C3 crops. However, among others, the little knowledge regarding the regulation of the C4 photosynthesis has impaired this challenge. Our lab has contributed to better understand the molecular mechanisms underpinning the regulation of the C4 photosynthesis. Since the C4 metabolism is highly dependent on the compartmentation between mesophyll and bundle sheath cells, it is fundamental to unveil the molecular networks regulating the differential accumulation of key photosynthetic proteins in these specialized cells. Using different approaches, we have identified and characterized a number of transcription factors and cis-acting regulatory elements involved in the cell-specific gene expression essential for the C4 metabolism. I will present and discuss our last results and future perspectives.

 

Location Jozef Schell Seminar Room
Contact Prof Nelson Saibo
Plant Gene Regulation Lab
ITQB NOVA
Oeiras
PORTUGAL